Justin Bieber defends fan channel “bieberzone” from YouTube suspension–is copyright uncertainty to blame?

January 20, 2010

News: YouTube teen sensation Justin Bieber has entered the copyright fray. Apparently, YouTube suspended the account of a Bieber fan called bieberzone @bieberzone on Twitter,” who probably was reposting Justin Bieber videos. YouTube may have even removed some of Bieber’s own music videos (performing other people’s songs). All of this no doubt has something to do with copyright concerns–as the underlying music is copyrighted. But it’s not clear whether YouTube did this on its own, or whether some copyright holder complained. Bieber is working under Usher’s music label, so we’re guessing those in the music industry give Justin their blessing to create his YouTube videos.

Here’s what Justin writes on Twitter:

Dear Fans…IM ON THE JOB. you support me and I support you. fan sites like http://www.youtube.com/bieberzone should not be shut down!!
about 3 hours ago from web

Dear Youtube. I love u. U helped me start living my dream. But I want u 2 stop messin with my fans and let ’em post any vid of me they want!
about 3 hours ago from web

very upset that some of my vids and some of my fans vids are being taken down by youtube. working to fix this now. no 1 messes with my fans

Analysis: Somewhat reminiscent of YouTube’s wrongful termination of the PS22 chorus’s YouTube channel–which thankfully was reinstated. It’s a shame YouTube is not doing more with the music industry to promote user-generated music videos, including with cover songs. The music industry can benefit by discovering more Justin Biebers or teen idols, who can bring in millions more in revenues.

I’ve written about copyright and user-generated content in an article titled “Warming Up to User-Generated Content,” which you can download by clicking here.